LA dognapper steals Maltipoo puppy, attacks owner in harrowing video
By Snejana Farberov,
Harrowing footage has emerged of a Los Angeles pet store owner being violently assaulted by a dognapper in broad daylight as she tried to stop the woman from running off with her daughter’s Maltipoo puppy.
Rosa Muñoz said she was working at her pet store, Planet Pet in Bell Gardens, when a woman she had seen a few times before walked in and approached a cage containing a Maltipoo puppy belonging to Muñoz’s daughter.
“She opened the cage and I did not realize it. She was very close to the cage, glued to it,” Muñoz told Fox 11 Los Angeles in Spanish.
Muñoz then noticed that the stranger had the puppy in her arms. She told the woman she was not allowed to remove animals from cages and asked her to put the pooch back into the cage.
Instead, Muñoz said, the woman looked at her and started running with the Maltipoo in her arms.
The store owner tried to give chase but fell and injured her hand. When she got up and went outside, she saw the dognapper standing there and staring at her.
“I said, ‘Give me the puppy. The puppy is taking medication, and the puppy is only 6 weeks old, and has diarrhea,’ and (then) she sprayed me with pepper spray and hit me,” Muñoz said.
Surveillance video released by authorities shows the unidentified female attacker taking a swing at Muñoz on the sidewalk.
A bystander calmly walks by the fighting women and makes no attempt to intervene.
The pet store owner puts up a fight and pulls the dog thief’s hair, but the assailant throws Muñoz to the ground and overpowers her before running off with the woman’s puppy.
She is seen on video heading north on Eastern Avenue toward Loevland Street.
Muñoz said two men came to her aid and called the police.
The woman required medical attention for “substantial injuries” suffered during the attack, cops said. She was treated for damage to her eyes and will be wearing a cast on her fractured hand for the next month.
Muñoz said she has been running her store for 22 years and had never run into any trouble. She is now wary of unfamiliar people entering her business.
Investigators described the Maltipoo snatcher as a woman with a lighter skin complexion, between 18 and 25 years old, with a medium build and auburn hair. She was last seen wearing a black shirt and red-and-black plaid pajama bottoms.
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